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Review


By Penny Miles

Andrew Farquhar at ROW, Wharf St


Bay of Plenty Times, Thursday, September 6, 2007
Abstract or non objective, art is complex and can be difficult to critique as it is for audiences to warm to. However, Farquhar's current exhibition (which is simply titled Andrew Farquhar) is quite serene and extremely ordered.

Rather than being loud and in your face his work has a calming effect. Each of the 14 works is very similar, yet in ROW's delightful mezzanine gallery space they work well collectively.

Fastidiously crafted - and one ponders just how he made them which in itself is a point of difference for viewers - these works are technically sound. Farquhar labels them as acrylic but they are more than that, having been worked up with a myriad of layers and patterns.

The surfaces of Farquhar's works have a magnificent sheen to them, inviting natural and artificial light to play across the surface providing variety. Each surface appears to be in a state of flux or change as you move past it or the light changes.

The works are largish (most over 1200mm in width) and they would suit commercial or professional spaces, perhaps more than domestic settings.

Like many formal abstract artists, Farquhar simply gives his works numbers, not purporting to titles which can force a meaning or subject upon a work.

Farquhar's works stand alone and thus the lengthy artist statement is somewhat overworked.

For instance, "acting as paradoxical elements they enfold substantiality and insubstantiality by ways of the contingent, the planned and unforeseen. This produces an image whereby depth and flatness exist in equilibrium, attempting to coexist in the same plane, both questioning and affirming each others identity."

As polished and superbly executed as these paintings are I am not totally convinced that they are as Farquhar suggests metaphors for life.
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Andrew Farquhar's works are on show until September 15